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Seiko 7549-7009 'Golden Tuna' 600m Professional Quartz Diver

An original Seiko 7549-7009 'Golden Tuna' 600m Professional Quartz Diver
An original Seiko 7549-7009 'Golden Tuna' 600m Professional Quartz Diver
photo courtesy of fmc000 at Rolex Forums
photo © Danjaq LLC, MGM, United Artists
James Bond (Roger Moore) wears a Seiko 7549-7009 'Golden Tuna' 600m Professional Quartz Diver S60583 in the movie For Your Eyes Only.
photo © Danjaq LLC, MGM, United Artists

photo © Danjaq LLC, MGM, United Artists
The Seiko 7549-7009 watch is worn throughout the Neptune diving scene, but doesn't get a proper close-up.
photo © Danjaq LLC, MGM, United Artists

photo © Seiko
Seiko 7549-7009 'Golden Tuna' 600m Professional Quartz Diver
photo © Seiko

photo © Universal/CIC
In the 1980 movie North Sea Hijack (aka Ffolkes), Roger Moore wears the same Seiko 7549-7009 'Golden Tuna' 600m Professional Quartz Diver, and in this movie, the watch gets a great close-up shot.
photo © Universal/CIC

photo © Seiko
The best affordable alternative to the original Seiko is the new Seiko Prospex SNE498 Solar, launched in 2018.
photo © Seiko

photo © Seiko
Seiko Prospex SNE498 Solar Tuna back and the supple, black silicone strap with very nice gold hardware
photo © Seiko

photo © Seiko
Another affordable alternative is the Seiko Prospex SBDN028 Solar LOWERCASE Limited Edition from 2016
photo © Seiko

James Bond (Roger Moore) wears a Seiko 7549-7009 'Golden Tuna' 600m Professional Quartz Diver (model S60583) in the movie For Your Eyes Only (1981).

The diver's watch is worn by James Bond during the dive in the yellow submarine to the St. Georges wreck, where he and Melina Havelock (Carole Bouquet) retrieve the A.T.A.C. machine.

Even though you might not have noticed the watch before, it is actually seen quite frequently during the long scene, because Bond wears it on the outside of his yellow diving suit. Unfortunately the watch doesn't get a good close-up shot in the movie. When Bond and Melina are captured by Aristotle Kristatos (Julian Glover) and his henchmen, the watch is probably discarded and never seen again.

Interestingly enough, Roger Moore also wore the same model Seiko Golden Tuna in the 1980 movie North Sea Hijack, released as ffolkes outside the UK and as Assault Force on US TV - read an extensive review of this film on the Incredible Suit blog. The watch in that movie DOES get a good close-up, see images on the left.

About the Seiko 7549-7009 Tuna

The Seiko Tuna is one of the classic and famous Seiko watches thanks to its unique design and because it was the first ever diver's watch with a Quartz movement and the first with a Titanium Case. The nickname Tuna is a reference to the shape of the watch compared to a tuna can. Originally released in 1975 (the 'Grandfather Tuna'), it has since been released in several different models, too many to name here, but you can read more in these articles on Fratello (1) and Fratello (2).

The exact model worn by James Bond in the film is the Seiko 7549-7009 600m Professional Diver’s 600M S60583. This variation was released in 1978. This is the model with golden inner case, golden crown, screws and caseback. The titanium inner case was coated with Titanium nitride (TiN, also known as Tinite), an extremely hard ceramic material that has a golden appearance.

Currently all vintage Seiko Golden Tuna watches are still quite expensive - a well preserved model could cost well over $1500, for example on eBay (but read more below for affordable alternatives).

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The Seiko Tuna is a serious professional dive watch, with a well-constructed case the watch can go up to 600m deep (compare to the Omega Seamaster 300m, and only the Planet Ocean worn by Bond going to 600m). The shroud screws and crown are titanium while the black shroud itself is ceramic-coated steel.

Note that the Seiko Tuna is quite a large watch, with a large and high case, it might not fit every wrist. But it actually wears smaller than its specs might suggest because of the short lug design.

Over the years, Seiko has released newer versions of the Gold Tuna watch, with 1000m depth, the 7C46 series (7008 or 7009 SBSS018), but these were and still are quite expensive.

Below we'll look at two newer, cheaper options, that don't have the high tec specs of the 600m and 1000m Gold Tuna's, but are great looking watches from the same company, sometimes referred to as the Baby Tuna.

Best Affordable Alternative
Seiko Prospex SNE498 Solar Tuna

In 2018, Seiko released a solar powered version of the Seiko Tuna watch, the Seiko Prospex SNE498 Solar Tuna, with a smaller case, solar powered quartz movement, and many other different design details. The construction of the case is now stainless steel with a plastic shroud, compared to the original titanium case with ceramic-coated steel shroud, but the new watch looks very nice. The 120-click one-way rotating bezel for example looks and feels great. Note that the screws that keep the black shroud on the inner gold case are now placed on the left side (2 screws) and right (1 screw), compared to 2 on the bottom and 1 on top on the original Golden Tuna. The caseback is now stainless steel and not gold coloured.

The solar powered V157 movement is practical - no need for battery changes and the watch runs for 10 months on a full charge. Even if it would be empty, it can be charged within minutes in sunlight to start working again.

The dial features a small square Date window at the 4 o'clock position, which is different from the much larger Day-Date at the 3 o'clock position of the original Tuna. The LumiNite lume is nice and bright and a cool effect is that the Lume lights up the first 15 minute markers on the bezel, as well as the hourmarkers and hands.

The new watch is lighter and more eaasy to wear than the original.

The case is 47mm, which sounds huge, but it really doesn't feel that big, partly because the lugs are placed differently on the new model compared to the original Tuna, so it wears smaller than the original. If you are familiar with the Seiko SKX007 or SKX009 (or new Seiko 5, which is the same design) diver's watch, it wears similar to that watch. It's also about the same height, if you wear the SKX on a NATO strap.

The rubber strap is very supple and soft, and the watch wears very comfortably with this strap. The gold-coloured hardware (the buckle and holder) is quite large, very nice and beautiful with brushed and shiny parts.

The watch can be worn on a NATO strap (width: 22mm, for example a black NATO strap with gold hardware would look good, or a black Zulu strap with black hardware, or a grey/black 'Bond' NATO could work. I have black/gold and Bond Nato straps and will post pictures of it with the straps soon. Stay tuned on Instagram for updates and more pictures of my SNE498.

The SNE498 watch is currently still in Seiko's collection (suggested retail price $450) and you can still easily find the new Seiko SNE498 for around $240 - $350 or more on eBay (international shipping) and Amazon USA, and for around £320 in the UK or €335 in Europe.

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Affordable Alternative 2
Seiko Prospex SBDN028 LOWERCASE Limited Edition
You can also look for the 2016 model, the Seiko Prospex SBDN028 LOWERCASE Limited Edition. This model is similar to the SNE498, also solar powered but with the V147 instead of V157. It's a Limited Edition and has a few different design details, compare images on the left.

Note the differences on the dial: the SBDN028 has gold hands, gold logos, gold minute markers and Submariner style hour markers. The bezel is also different, note the shape of the top triangle and the shape of the bezel edge.

The Seiko SBDN028 is not produced anymore, and because the model is a Limited Edition it is a bit more expensive (from $350 - $550 on eBay) than the newer SNE498, but it's another great looking Seiko watch, so also a good option.

Find more affordable alternatives for James Bond Seiko watches

Product Code: 
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